***** Most up-to-date pic on blog homepage:
Below is a raw pseudo-diary and photo log of my 13 weeks doing AthleanX’s AX1 program (10/11/15 through 1/8/16). As you’ll see, there were ups and downs, especially in morale. Along the way, I learned a LOT about exercise, abilities, limitations, nutrition, supplementation, and expectations. Hopefully readers can glean some encouragement from this diary on their own AX1 journey.
Also I did a video recap “Athlean X AX1 review – Does it work? (age 55)” of my AX1 experience on my Youtube channel.
Photo end-of-week prior to starting AX1 10/11/15:
WEEK 8: AthleanX AX1 finish week 1
Whoa. This is good stuff! Not quite hour-long workouts each day, meal plan, supplements, and I’m off and running. I’m pretty much tuckered by the end of each workout, but am so impressed with their comprehensive exercises and instructional videos. LOVE THE PUMP!
WEEK 9: AthleanX AX1 finish week 2
It’s been a week of AthleanX workouts, eating the program way, supplements, and sleep! On Friday I noted that every part of me was sore, but I never felt better! Tough to gauge progress after a week. Measurements show no (or less) growth, but my muscles feel tighter, especially in my upper back. Also, I can flex and SEE triceps now – cool.
WEEK 10: AthleanX AX1 finish week 3
Good week of workouts, but fretting over next Monday’s 400 Challenge test. Have to either pass it, or repeat AX1 month one all over again. Really pushed myself. Weight consistent at 145 lbs, getting stronger, but no noticeable body gains.
WEEK 11: AthleanX AX1 finish week 4
Ending the week at 141lbs. Noticeable weight loss and ability to see not only the outer edge of my abs, but following a workout even some inner cuts.
Started off on Monday fretting (and we’re not supposed to stress) over the AX1-1 400 Challenge: 100x-Inverse Rows + 100x-Situps + 100x-Pushups + 100x-Body Weight Squats, any order, any number reps per set. Had to get all 400 done in under 17 minutes to be able to progress to AX1 Month 2 training, otherwise had to repeat Month 1. Based on my inability to do less than 6 complete pullups the week before, I had little hope to pass the test. So on Monday I was nervous, pit in my stomach, procrastinated, postponed, and finally at 7pm set about the task. A buddy had made me a playlist, and just past halfway done, when I started having my doubts, ELP’s “The Enemy God Dances With The Black Spirits” came on– and with it the adrenaline rush I needed. Finished in 12’48”! Man was I elated. So pumped that immediately following the challenge I redid the prior week’s Monday upper body push workout. On Friday 400 Challenge 2nd round, down to 12’20”.
WEEK 12 AthleanX AX1 finish week 5
Weight all week right at 143. Dropped to 142.2 this morning After all the drama of finishing week 4 of AX1, week 5 hits with a bang. Harder weight workouts Mon & Fri, core/ab workout on Wed not so bad (love these, and think I’m pretty good at them). But the conditioning workouts Tue & Thu, not so much. Tue was a jog/run thing, which I dont’t do (so I hard-push stationary bike work instead). Thu was a burpee/box jump timed thing, supposed to be for 20 minutes. Took me 35. I feel like the losing weight is more off muscle than fat. But for abs, I do see the horizontal lines faintly for the first time.
WEEK 13 AthleanX AX1 finish week 6
Weight between 143.5, 144.5 this week. 11x11x11 Challenge in AX1 sobered me up – 11reps, 11exercises, under 11 minutes. First round 14.5min, second round 13.75. Ways to go. Also, looking for signs of muscle growth, but disappointed. After a workout, new muscle looks cool, but by Sunday morning (when I take the pics), I ain’t seeing it. Started on Casein before bed (supposedly best slow-release protein). “Work the program”, just keep telling myself…
WEEK 14 AthleanX AX1 finish week 7
Bad start to the week weighing in at almost 148lbs, and trust me, it wasn’t new muscle. I had abused the diet plan between Thur night Billy Joel concert/eating out, and Sunday noshing/drinking at a party. I knew before I hit the scale (every morning buck-naked first thing before breakfast). I even felt a bit thicker. Spent nearly a day getting over bad attitude. But kept telling myself, “Work the program…” AMAZED that weight back down to 143.5 within two days and stayed there the rest of the week. Check out photo. This is routine weekly Sunday mid-morning photo (as all the above), over 40 hours since previous workout, so not pumped at all, and relaxed (not flexing). Shades of delts, tris, bis, abs, and (gasp!) even thighs!
WEEK 15 AthleanX AX1 finish week 8
Weight pretty steady at 143.5 all week; today 141.5. REALLY encouraging fitness week. Being the last week of the month, it was AX1 challenge time. Monday was 400 again, and finished in 20′-13”; not much time improvement, but strength, endurance-wise much easier. Friday was a new challenge, 20 Up/20 Down (10 x pushups, 5 x straight-leg inverted rows, 10 x body-weight squats, 10 x jumping jacks) – do one set, that order, per minute for 20 minutes – unused minutes for rest before following minutes begins. NAILED IT with 15 seconds to spare. Very encouraging. Also encouraging is that I feel stronger, and body is starting to show permanent cuts, muscle, not just when I’m pumped. Below is this week’s Sunday morning photo (40+ hrs since exercise). Still skinny-a’d and legs are pathetic, but trust me, they’re fuller and stronger than when I started two months ago!
WEEK 16 AthleanX AX1 finish week 9
Weight in the 141-143 all week – actually hit 140.8 on Saturday. Not sure if this is good, feeling skinny, hoping I”m not losing muscle weight instead of fat, and started estimating protein intake — should be 1 g per day per pound of body weight. I’m not in this now for weight loss as much as body fat % decrease (I want to see the abs!). So I ordered a body fat measuring device, we’ll see. Body gains, not so much except for in my upper legs. Killing the workouts, except pull-ups continue to frustrate me. Throwing in a couple of days extra on abs.
WEEK 17 AthleanX AX1 finish week 10
Weight 140 (Mon) to 142.5 (Wed). Would say avg 142 all week. I’m realizing weight is not a good gauge any longer, as muscle weighs more than fat and hopefully I’m replacing the latter with the former. I got a handheld body fat monitor (looking for the abs 🙂 ). Clocking in at around 10.5% right now. I read these things aren’t that accurate, but I’ll at least get an up/down gauge on body fat measurements week to week. Read last night at 10% I should see my abs without having to flex much, but I still feel there’s a significant layer of subcutaneous fat hiding them. And I know I have to do a lot more ab work still to make them “pop”. Once again, trust the process!
I am adding muscle, slowly. Seriously, my #1 goal on AX1 was to lose the beer gut and man boobs, and to get in general “good shape”. Check, done that. My chest is now all but flat. But I was also thinking the program would put on significant muscle. My expectations were probably unrealistic, looking for abs, delts, tris & bis, and even pecs. With two weeks left in the program, my upper legs are definitely where I see and feel the most size increase, but even there less than I expected.
WEEK 18 AthleanX AX1 finish week 11
Week weigh in between 139 and 143. Body fat clocked in between 9.8 and 10.5
Really not much new to report this week. I feel stronger though and definition gains are sticking. Had a weird experience following Friday’s workout. I felt it drained me more than any workout to date, even though on paper it doesn’t look that strenuous. Shortly afterwards I went to see the new Star Wars movie. I honestly wondered if I was going to pass out for the first hour of the movie. Glad I didn’t!
WEEK 19 AthleanX AX1 finish week 12 (extra week)
Week weigh in between 140 and 144. Body fat clocked in the low 10’s.
I didn’t want to end AX1, my last week, in the middle of the holidays. Schedule was all off, eating was definitely going to be off, added stress of heavy work load, etc. So I added an “extra” week of AX1 month 3’s “greatest hits” — those workouts I felt were the most taxing. Glad I did.The upcoming final week of AX1 has not one, but TWO, challenges. So I wanted to be in good shape all around.
Check out the pic below. Like all the others, these are taken mid Sunday morning after two days of no exercise. The definition lines, though slight, are sticking! Abs, bis, between the pecs, and delts.
WEEK 20 AthleanX AX1 final week 13
Back to a post-holiday strict nutrition and workout routine. Weigh in between 139 and 142. Body fat ranged between 9.8 and 10.4.
What a workout week. Monday was the final round of the 400 challenge. My previous time to beat was 12’20”. Did it in 11’01” — Woo hoo! The remaining week’s workouts were two light core and one HIIT, in preparation for Friday’s “Final X-Am”. Tough one: 12-10 rep sets of 4 exercises – burpees, kettle bell swings, inverted rows, and Russian twisted V-ups. Had to complete those in under 25 minutes. I almost didn’t make it. I turned up the heat too high in my workout room, and 1/3 of the way through found myself dry-throated, gasping for air, and not able to swallow water. Shut the heat down, took a 45 second breather, got some water into me, and was able to continue. Just made it – 23’01”.
The final AX1 video is Jeff Cavalier basically saying “well done”, that’s it, training camp is over– he walks off the set and turns out the lights. Confession– I am an emotional mush and it got to me. For 3 months, the guy took me through a life-changing physical and emotional ringer, and it’s just over. I get it – GREAT marketing ploy to get you to buy the next AX module (which I will eventually). But just replaying in my head the triumphs and setbacks, the investments of time, food, money, and emotion (not to mention the ridicule of family members), it all came down on me and I had me a bit of catharsis I guess.
In the end– no regrets…
Photo at the end of AX1 1/10/16: